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A Reality Check From the Brink of Extinction

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Posted on Oct 18, 2009
Greenland melting
AP / John McConnico

With polar ice caps melting at a record rate, the Arctic is expected to be an open sea during summers within a decade.

By Chris Hedges

We can join Bill McKibben on Oct. 24 in nationwide protests over rising carbon emissions. We can cut our consumption of fossil fuels. We can use less water. We can banish plastic bags. We can install compact fluorescent light bulbs. We can compost in our backyard. But unless we dismantle the corporate state, all those actions will be just as ineffective as the Ghost Dance shirts donned by native American warriors to protect themselves from the bullets of white soldiers at Wounded Knee.

“If we all wait for the great, glorious revolution there won’t be anything left,” author and environmental activist Derrick Jensen told me when I interviewed him in a phone call to his home in California. “If all we do is reform work, this culture will grind away. This work is necessary, but not sufficient. We need to use whatever means are necessary to stop this culture from killing the planet. We need to target and take down the industrial infrastructure that is systematically dismembering the planet. Industrial civilization is functionally incompatible with life on the planet, and is murdering the planet. We need to do whatever is necessary to stop this.”

The oil and natural gas industry, the coal industry, arms and weapons manufacturers, industrial farms, deforestation industries, the automotive industry and chemical plants will not willingly accept their own extinction. They are indifferent to the looming human catastrophe. We will not significantly reduce carbon emissions by drying our laundry in the backyard and naively trusting the power elite. The corporations will continue to cannibalize the planet for the sake of money. They must be halted by organized and militant forms of resistance. The crisis of global heating is a social problem. It requires a social response.

The United States, after rejecting the Kyoto Protocol, went on to increase its carbon emissions by 20 percent from 1990 levels. The European Union countries during the same period reduced their emissions by 2 percent. But the recent climate negotiations in Bangkok, designed to lead to a deal in Copenhagen in December, have scuttled even the tepid response of Kyoto. Kyoto is dead. The EU, like the United States, will no longer abide by binding targets for emission reductions. Countries will unilaterally decide how much to cut. They will submit their plans to international monitoring. And while Kyoto put the burden of responsibility on the industrialized nations that created the climate crisis, the new plan treats all countries the same. It is a huge step backward.

“All of the so-called solutions to global warming take industrial capitalism as a given,” said Jensen, who wrote “Endgame” and “The Culture of Make Believe.” “The natural world is supposed to conform to industrial capitalism. This is insane. It is out of touch with physical reality. What’s real is real. Any social system—it does not matter if we are talking about industrial capitalism or an indigenous Tolowa people—their way of life, is dependent upon a real, physical world. Without a real, physical world you don’t have anything. When you separate yourself from the real world you start to hallucinate. You believe the machines are more real than real life. How many machines are within 10 feet of you and how many wild animals are within a hundred yards? How many machines do you have a daily relationship with? We have forgotten what is real.” 

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The latest studies show polar ice caps are melting at a record rate and that within a decade the Arctic will be an open sea during summers. This does not give us much time. White ice and snow reflect 80 percent of sunlight back to space, while dark water reflects only 20 percent, absorbing a much larger heat load. Scientists warn that the loss of the ice will dramatically change winds and sea currents around the world. And the rapidly melting permafrost is unleashing methane chimneys from the ocean floor along the Russian coastline. Methane is a greenhouse gas 25 times more toxic than carbon dioxide, and some scientists have speculated that the release of huge quantities of methane into the atmosphere could asphyxiate the human species. The rising sea levels, which will swallow countries such as Bangladesh and the Marshall Islands and turn cities like New Orleans into a new Atlantis, will combine with severe droughts, horrific storms and flooding to eventually dislocate over a billion people. The effects will be suffering, disease and death on a scale unseen in human history.

We can save groves of trees, protect endangered species and clean up rivers, all of which is good, but to leave the corporations unchallenged would mean our efforts would be wasted. These personal adjustments and environmental crusades can too easily become a badge of moral purity, an excuse for inaction. They can absolve us from the harder task of confronting the power of corporations. 

The damage to the environment by human households is minuscule next to the damage done by corporations. Municipalities and individuals use 10 percent of the nation’s water while the other 90 percent is consumed by agriculture and industry. Individual consumption of energy accounts for about a quarter of all energy consumption; the other 75 percent is consumed by corporations. Municipal waste accounts for only 3 percent of total waste production in the United States. We can, and should, live more simply, but it will not be enough if we do not radically transform the economic structure of the industrial world.

“If your food comes from the grocery store and your water from a tap you will defend to the death the system that brings these to you because your life depends on it,” said Jensen, who is holding workshops around the country called Deep Green Resistance [click here and here] to build a militant resistance movement. “If your food comes from a land base and if your water comes from a river you will defend to the death these systems. In any abusive system, whether we are talking about an abusive man against his partner or the larger abusive system, you force your victims to become dependent upon you. We believe that industrial capitalism is more important than life.”

Those who run our corporate state have fought environmental regulation as tenaciously as they have fought financial regulation. They are responsible for our personal impoverishment as well as the impoverishment of our ecosystem. We remain addicted, courtesy of the oil, gas and automobile industries and a corporate-controlled government, to fossil fuels. Species are vanishing. Fish stocks are depleted. The great human migration from coastlines and deserts has begun. And as temperatures continue to rise, huge parts of the globe will become uninhabitable. NASA climate scientist James Hansen has demonstrated that any concentration of carbon dioxide greater than 350 parts per million in the atmosphere is not compatible with maintenance of the biosphere on the “planet on which civilization developed and to which life on earth is adapted.” He has determined that the world must stop burning coal by 2030—and the industrialized world well before that—if we are to have any hope of ever getting the planet back down below that 350 number. Coal supplies half of our electricity in the United States.

“We need to separate ourselves from the corporate government that is killing the planet,” Jensen said. “We need to get really serious. We are talking about life on the planet. We need to shut down the oil infrastructure. I don’t care, and the trees don’t care, if we do this through lawsuits, mass boycotts or sabotage. I asked Dahr Jamail how long a bridge would last in Iraq that was not defended. He said probably six to 12 hours. We need to make the economic system, which is the engine for so much destruction, unmanageable. The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta has been able to reduce Nigerian oil output by 20 percent. We need to stop the oil economy.” 

The reason the ecosystem is dying is not because we still have a dryer in our basement. It is because corporations look at everything, from human beings to the natural environment, as exploitable commodities. It is because consumption is the engine of corporate profits. We have allowed the corporate state to sell the environmental crisis as a matter of personal choice when actually there is a need for profound social and economic reform. We are left powerless.

Alexander Herzen, speaking a century ago to a group of Russian anarchists working to topple the czar, reminded his followers that they were not there to rescue the system. 

“We think we are the doctors,” Herzen said. “We are the disease.”


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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, October 27, 2009 at 1:48 pm Link to this comment

Actually Jazzguyal the world population is closer to 6.68 billion at this time and growing ever greater even as a billion are under threat from utter starvation death with billions more underfed to severely underfed which will stunt growth, lower IQ and weaken immune systems. Which will lead to sub-normal lives and shortened ones.

It can not be sustained at this pace while the easy oil age winds down. The best we can do is to soften the blow of climate change but we can’t stop it. We might have been able to or at least slow it down if we had done to GHG technologies what we did with CFC’s, cut them all out. I don’t see it happening. We will be doing good if we can keep the overall temperature below 3 degrees C. But if the frozen methane hydride melts and vaporizes out into the atmosphere it will be “game over” concerning stopping the radical climate change. Then we will be forced to make our adjustments. It won’t be pretty or quiet. People will fight to eat for themselves and their children or die trying—-what will they have to lose? The rich countries will have the weapons but will they use them on millions of poor desperate people, to massacre them, in order for the rich country to survive instead of being overrun? One of the a thousand dilemmas that will face the world. By 2025 it will be obvious to all but the most closed minded skeptic, that it will be there.

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By jazzguyal, October 27, 2009 at 1:22 pm Link to this comment

I agree with Chris and Bill McKibbon about the scale of the problem. Unfortunately the 6 billion people on the planet can not be supported by any economy that at this point is carbon nuetral. I am not advocating this as a solution but it appears by my calculations of food production spread out across the globe to the regions capable of growing food will require at least 50 acres per person (with a carbon nuetral economy) to supply that person for a year. There was at 1994, approx. .27 hectare/ person (1 hectare = 2.47 acres)of arable land on the planet. Looks like we are a little short of land to make a carbon nuetral economy. A lot of people will die if we try to force the economy to be carbon nuetral, or a lot of people will die because we don’t make it carbon nuetral. Unless technology comes riding in on a white horse, as a species on this planet, we are collectiely screwed for at least three generations and that’s only if it works out okay.

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By stcfarms, October 25, 2009 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment

And create the most offensive police state ever.

By lichen, October 25 at 5:30 pm #

A global one-child-per-female policy could bring our population back down to
1.8 billion by 2100

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By stcfarms, October 25, 2009 at 2:36 pm Link to this comment

Oddly enough you may get your wish. The average IQ of the eight people
likely to go to sea on my island is 150. It was not designed as a eugenics
experiment but it may end up being one in fact. The fact that we are all
atheists was unintentional as well…

“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education” Mark Twain

I offered the suggestion that the population growth should be limited and
specifically some form of sterilization of those adults with extremely low IQ’s.

That was allmost 60-years ago. Have we gotten any farther in the process of
controlling what people do to satisfy their “creator”? I think not! There will be
no hope for improvement until religion becomes a non-issue in the
environmental debate.

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By lichen, October 25, 2009 at 2:30 pm Link to this comment

A global one-child-per-female policy could bring our population back down to 1.8 billion by 2100—allowing the forests to regenerate, the threatened species to thrive once again, and giving the remaining humans clean air, clean water, and less tension over resources.  That, along with immediately scaling down to only an absolute minimal use of technology, and only powered by tidal, solar, wind, and geothermal.  The majority of mining operations must stop.  Cars are out, for good; but perhaps we can have trains. 

We cannot continue to chemicalize and pollute the planet and ourselves if we want anything to survive.

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By Myronh, October 25, 2009 at 11:43 am Link to this comment

As I read the comments of numerous obviously intelligent people, I recall my first exploration into population control and concern for the environment. It was the 1951-52 school year and my senior year in high-school, which was located in a small farming community. The class was Social Science and the subject was population growth. The Teacher asked for comments from the students; the class size less than 30. I was the only one who dared to ask any questions. I offered the suggestion that the population growth should be limited and specifically some form of sterilization of those adults with extremely low IQ’s. It was obvious this was not a typical subject in this farming community, with approxinately 50% of the population being Catholic and family size as large as 16 kids. The Teacher turned red and sent me to the Principles office. I told him what I had said; he grinned and told me not to bring-up the subject again, and avoid making any other comments that might embarrass the Teacher.

That was allmost 60-years ago. Have we gotten any farther in the process of controlling what people do to satisfy their “creator”? I think not! There will be no hope for improvement until religion becomes a non-issue in the environmental debate.

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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, October 24, 2009 at 1:34 pm Link to this comment

If the corporations rule, through the oligarchs who own them, it will be a bad place with or without anything else happening. And the “anything else” will happen.

The worse the economy is the worse they treat us. The totalitarian ideas have spread to other places like France. Employees were committing suicide so often that this company had to actually change how it was treating them! But only after the gov’t had intervened after massive protest. More to come.

Here they are not counting suicides connected to the economy but it is there and some of it slips through. Also crime is up as you hear people turning to robbery to get money to pay the rent. With more to come. I just hope I am wrong and that the Dominionists don’t have the kind of power and foresight I think the ones at the core have to overturn our gov’t to install their own in its place.

Obama shows no inclination to change our course to the destruction of the Republic. None.

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By stcfarms, October 24, 2009 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment

A mix of technologies may be the best solution. Some of the technology from
the 1600’s is superior in that it can be repaired if needed. There are some
modern technologies (primarily from the 1920-1950 era) that can used
because they can be repaired with a good set of tools.

Helping our fellow humans is an admirable goal and, as long as it does not
endanger me or mine, I will try. The problem is that the only interest in my
island is from wealthy survivalists, just the people I do not care to save. My
girlfriend thinks I should build islands for them because a man that can fix
things in the future would be king.

It is very likely that there will be enclaves but the difference in weaponry
between these enclaves could lead to slavery. You are right that we do not
have an idea of what the future will bring because there are too many
variables. It is best to plan on being mobile and adaptable so you can cover as
many variables as possible. I feel that water will be the deciding factor on
survival as it has been so many times in the past.

The Mad Max scenario looks to be the logical outcome of civilization in
decline, at least that is how we have always handled it in the past. If we can
get through the next 50 years with the knowledge of the ancients interspersed
with the non polluting sciences we should be alright. Of course, it will be a far
different world than the one that we have created.

By Night-Gaunt, October 23 at 4:26 pm #

I just hope we can maintain enough of our civilization all through it an aid
those who need our help after we help ourselves. Hope isn’t enough nor
should it be, we must survive today to live for a tomorrow. I am not known for
my jocularity and positivism. Sorry.

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By elisalouisa, October 24, 2009 at 6:31 am Link to this comment

KDelphi and Night-Gaunt,  Will this culture kill the planet through war?  It is difficult to imagine what the future really holds. In our post discussions China and the Far East are seldom mentioned, Yet, a good part of the world population is in that area. The global economy is leading to world government and China is a key player. As we continually question Iran and North Korea concerning nuclear weapons China is never an issue. America’s status will gradually diminish as China gains in prominence .Where will the center of the coming world government be? This question shall most likely be answered by war in which every WMD will be used. A good majority of the population will then be a thing of the past thus solving the population issue. Just as “Roundup” is selective as to what it kills will our psychopath power elite perfect a WMD that is selective as to who/what it destroys and then decide to “test” it..

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By KDelphi, October 24, 2009 at 12:41 am Link to this comment

Night Guant—Not challenging you , just interested. (you certainly dont have to be an optimist with me—lol) Do you think, in any way, that those that are used to doing with less, might survive where the more pampered do not? I have been thinking about that—not very pleasant, but such things do invade my head..yes, a huge war (or a continuation of the wars we are waging now) could drastically change the face of who/where wil srurvive.

Do you think other mammals will survive? I know that many species go extinct every day.

I figure that we could “turn things around” if we put all of the resources we now put into killing others into saving them, along with less usage, smaller lifestyles, maybe innovation, but that has not traditionally done the planet much good.

I watched NOW on pbs tonight—Bangladesh, and, they were already poor, so many dying of starvation—I think we can see our own future there, sadly—and then, the necessary migrations, producing huge swaths of land with the poor all being forced into small areas that are not aerable…...do you think that biology, say, making people less fertile might ‘step in’, and slow down population growth? Or do you think that draught and starvation will be the main causes? Sounds,harsh, but its happening now.

I just wonder what others are thinking about such things. The media and power seem to be so lackadaisacle about it…what do you think of “cap and trade”, especially at the rather lukewarm way we are going about it (maybe!)

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By jimch, October 23, 2009 at 8:27 pm Link to this comment

We think we are the doctors,” Herzen said. “We are the disease.”

The solution? Enforced birth control. Lower the earth’s population to less than one billion. Problem solved! No need for the big corporations to rape the planet any longer.

But we all know that isn’t going to happen; therefore…catastrophe!

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By jimch, October 23, 2009 at 8:11 pm Link to this comment

In this vein, I offer up this quote from former Apollo astronaut John Young:

“If you want to see an endangered species, get up and go look in the mirror.”

That pretty much says it all.

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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, October 23, 2009 at 1:26 pm Link to this comment

The motive oe our culture is just an exaggeration of the need, then want for things. Food, clothes, homes and of course jobs but also many more things related for entertainment. With the idea that consumption is what we do and we are called consumers it tells us this. Then seeing just how we are geared to consume more than we need or should want. From sugar to drugs to TV screens that use as much energy as a refrigerator! Excess has become the norm and is promoted almost everywhere. So if you want to moderate even just a bit you are attacked. Just look around at those who like things the way the are and consider it a God Given Right to do so.

There is evidence we can maintain our technology but on a lower level of consumption and environmental destruction. I can’t say it will be painless, it won’t be, but we don’t have to go back to the 1600’s to live out the rest of our species life span. Restraint and patience and care about what we do will affect others and the planet should always be on our minds. It isn’t.

I have warned that if we don’t stop ourselves and change our course of living Nature will do it and there will be no compassion in it. We must have that compassion and foresight which we have the capacity for. Our lives are just so haphazard it appalls me. I don’t mean a bee hive totalitarian kind of order, just a kind of education that allows for the well prepared mind to decide what they want from what is offered. We need to work together as a species for the benefit of all of us, not just some, where wealth isn’t measured in dollars or shares but in quality of life and benefit to the planet.

I suspect that there will be enclaves of survivors of varying levels from “Mad Max” to the “Handmaid’s Tale” to the worse case “The Road” and many others coping as they can with what they have. I expect that the teaming poor will pay for the excesses of the richer ones. There are many possible scenarios and predictions aren’t what fiction writers write. They look at possible outcomes of current trends. We will not have 9 billion people in 2050. I suspect we will be lucky if we have 7 billion then. I just hope we don’t have World War III in that mix. Many civil wars maybe in Europe and USA and other places too are in the offing. Don’t forget disease. We are ripe for a few of those too.

When a similar thing happened just to Europe and Greenland it was bad. What we see developing today for the past 30+ years is global. Australia seems to be headed for becoming a rabbit infested desert right now. How long must a drought go on till it is permanent? Our own mid west could be an arid desert very soon too. A good place for solar and wind farms though.

I just hope we can maintain enough of our civilization all through it an aid those who need our help after we help ourselves. Hope isn’t enough nor should it be, we must survive today to live for a tomorrow. I am not known for my jocularity and positivism. Sorry.

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By KDelphi, October 23, 2009 at 12:26 pm Link to this comment

Night Guant—the Malthus Constant idea makes sense , especially when you look at it in historical perspective. (wax and wane of “cultures”, civilizations etc) Do you think that the one we have created, being so “consumptive”, is overly prone to making it happen sooner, or, are we just due for another almost extinction? We also have not controlled our birth rate..when you consider overall (some societies are having smaller families, etc. but even that seems to be changing, somewhat) What species do you think would survive our own (partial?) extinction? Can you hypoethesize about which species might become dominant?

(sorry if not worded well…I understand the concept and am trying to ask a question) Just interested.

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By stcfarms, October 22, 2009 at 4:01 pm Link to this comment

Perhaps climate change is a good thing, it will surely eliminate most of the
parasitic virus also known as homo sapiens. This virus weakens the host to the
point where it can no longer feed the virus. Just as nature uses fever to kill
micro organisms in your body it is using fever to remove us. Do not get the
idea that an imaginary intelligence is behind the fever, it is just one of many
control mechanisms nature uses to maintain equilibrium. Some of the virus
may survive and hopefully it will have mutated so as to no longer threaten the
host.

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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, October 22, 2009 at 9:35 am Link to this comment

That is our fate if we fail and that would be the tragedy within many others. I suspect it may have happened before. A high technological society (ies) existed say 75,000 years ago but was wiped out and the survivors became primitives again. It is known that there were two major migrations out of Africa. The first 100,000 years ago and was destroyed by the Toba super volcano eruption about 70,000 years ago in the area we call Indonesia. (I think after a devastating global war weakened the Rama civilization too much to weather the devastation even with their technology more advanced than our own at this time.)  Then a second migration came out approximately 50,000 years ago to start again. [It explains why there hasn’t been as much genetic drift in the species as was anticipated.]

However this destruction and degradation of our civilization would be our own folly’s cause. Trashing the earth and multiplying like bacteria we have as mindless as any other animal when more food is made. The pivotal time of 1920 when the creator of Zyklon B found a way to artificially fix nitrogen in the soil. Estimates are it allowed for 2 billion more people jammed into our planet.

Now it also had the unanticipated consequence of the nitrogen runoff polluting the oceans creating ever expanding areas of death. What most people don’t seem to understand is the the Malthus Constant* is a natural mechanism as is always there waiting to be tripped if we falter. Think of a Dead Man’s Switch, you must use positive force to keep the train from stopping. We have reached such a limit and already a billion people are out right starving with billions more being underfed. Infinite growth in a finite system is suicide and mass murder. Only a Class Zero civilization would do such a thing to itself.

*My own conception, Malthus’ idea of limits of growth and consumption are still valid. Certain artificial measures have compensated but at a long term cost. Like more people, nitrogen pollution, exhausted soils, brittle agricultural process and so on.

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By Lucas H, October 22, 2009 at 7:24 am Link to this comment

I am now registered. Thank you for allowing my comment to be part of this discussion.

I can certainly agree that the current capitalist state cannot exist if there is to ever be any environmental or ecological restoration and I very much agree that “corporations look at everything, from human beings to the natural environment, as exploitable commodities” but I think it’s very strange that there is not a single mention of animal agriculture in this article. There is talk of species extinction, depleted oceans, desertification, overuse of resources and energy, pollution, overall environmental degradation, and what is called “climate change”, but there’s no mention of one of the biggest contributors to all these things and more, a big contributor that one can easily avoid participating in. I’m not exactly sure if they overlooked it willfully or out of genuine ignorance. There is a passing mention of “agriculture” but the fact that much of the land is used to grow animals for food (50 billion per year +, not including aquatic animals) and the food to feed these animals (the large numbers of animals to feed results in intensive, monocropping systems), who in turn create gigantic amounts of waste and pollution, is not mentioned anywhere, not even an attempted dismissal. I mean, it’s certainly not outside the scope of the article.

Considering Jensen says the book, The Vegetarian Myth (which i have read), saved his life, I’m not surprised that he would avoid such an issue. Like the author of The V Myth- Lierre Keith, Jensen is caught up in being “anti-civilization” and pro-population control with an ideal future consisting of a drastically reduced population of humans living closer to the way “hunter-gatherers” (i’d say “gatherer-hunters”) lived and therefore being “truly” environmentally harmonious. This clearly overlooks real, practical solutions to the problem that are equitable for all of the current growing population.

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By Lucas, October 22, 2009 at 7:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I can certainly agree that the current capitalist state cannot exist if there is to ever be any environmental or ecological restoration and I very much agree that “corporations look at everything, from human beings to the natural environment, as exploitable commodities” but I think it’s very strange that there is not a single mention of animal agriculture in this article. There is talk of species extinction, depleted oceans, desertification, overuse of resources and energy, pollution, overall environmental degradation, and what is called “climate change”, but there’s no mention of one of the biggest contributors to all these things and more, a big contributor that one can easily avoid participating in. I’m not exactly sure if they overlooked it willfully or out of genuine ignorance. There is a passing mention of “agriculture” but the fact that much of the land is used to grow animals for food (50 billion per year +, not including aquatic animals) and the food to feed these animals (the large numbers of animals to feed results in intensive, monocropping systems), who in turn create gigantic amounts of waste and pollution, is not mentioned anywhere, not even an attempted dismissal. I mean, it’s certainly not outside the scope of the article.

Considering Jensen says the book, The Vegetarian Myth (which i have read), saved his life, I’m not surprised that he would avoid such an issue. Like the author of The V Myth- Lierre Keith, Jensen is caught up in being “anti-civilization” and pro-population control with an ideal future consisting of a drastically reduced population of humans living closer to the way “hunter-gatherers” (i’d say “gatherer-hunters”) lived and therefore being “truly” environmentally harmonious. This clearly overlooks real, practical solutions to the problem that are equitable for all of the current growing population.

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By Mark Goldes, October 21, 2009 at 10:53 pm Link to this comment

Yes, BlackLight is still going strong.

“In the realm of ideas everything depends on enthusiasm… in the real world all rests on perseverance.”    Goethe

Mills deserves great credit for persevering in spite of legions of critics and naysayers.

Our own analysis of how Energy from Collapsing Hydrogen Orbits - ECHO, functions, is not the same as his and, of course, our technology is very different.

But, given the urgency, it is tragic that other laboratories have not rapidly reproduced the Rowan experiments. Perhaps some have, and are merely too embarrassed to be identified with the Mills work.

It is the revolutionary breakthroughs that might make a difference in reversing the use of fossil fuels fast enough to avoid cataclysms that are threatening all of humanity.

Let’s get cracking while there is still time!

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D.R. Zing's avatar

By D.R. Zing, October 21, 2009 at 9:52 pm Link to this comment

To Mark Goldes,

Thank you for your fascinating posts. Good luck in all your endeavors.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, October 21, 2009 at 9:25 pm Link to this comment

So Blacklight is still at it?

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By Folktruther, October 21, 2009 at 9:13 pm Link to this comment

Thank you very much for your comments, Xntrk.  We have been trying to get to cuba for a number of years but our sitaution is such that it is not feasible.  We hoped Obama would change it but this isn’t the Change You can beleive in.

If Latin American is going to declare its independance from the US, it is going to need money and guns.  Obama is putting in seven bases in Colombia and has put in cops in the War on Drugs in Mexico, as well as the coup in Hondorus. 

We live near the Mexican border and the situation in Mexico is not good since Calderon stole the election.  Latin american will need theeconomic support of China to break away from US imperialism.
It is inconcievalbe to me that the US polutocarcy would allow this without a war of some kind.

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By Night-Gaunt, October 21, 2009 at 9:13 pm Link to this comment

Such targeting is possible if you are blind enough to believe it. Only fools will believe such nonsense. Willful ignorance can kill. They just don’t see it is themselves they will ultimately wipe out. Humanity is too close for such weapons of mass destruction to work. Not much genetic drift since the most recent spread from Mother Africa. The last one mostly died out.

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By stcfarms, October 21, 2009 at 8:50 pm Link to this comment

Mengele lives! DNA specific targeting of individual races is possible but it
could backfire as racial purity leads to the Habsburg scenario.

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By elisalouisa, October 21, 2009 at 8:29 pm Link to this comment

stcfarms, october 21 at 5:08 pm
Government one day may well decide who can or cannot breed.  They may perfect DNA identification as to races thus making only certain groups infertile. Nicholas Hagger’s book “The Syndicate” p. 190 states that 25 scientists working on DNA sequencing died mysteriously between 2001and 2003 and asks if all these microbiologists has died because they knew too much about an “ethnic specific
weapon”. Quoting from “The Syndicate”, ” A member of the Knesset, Dedi
Zucker had caused a furor in the Israeli Parliament when he claimed that
Israel’s Institute for Biological Research was trying to create an “ethnic specific
weapon. Such an Israeli weapon could target Arabs.” It is not difficult to
visualize going on from there to additives in water or food which makes certain
DNA types infertile. Scary stuff. Most of us would be rendered infertile in such
a world.

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By Mark Goldes, October 21, 2009 at 8:24 pm Link to this comment

Experiment is the name of the game. In both magnetic energy conversion, which we call MagGen, and Energy from Collapsing Hydrogen Orbits - ECHO, it is the experimental evidence that indicates new sources of energy are being converted.

In any such case, independent laboratory validation is a necessary step. Rowan University has done that in the case of what we call ECHO. But, to be widely accepted several more labs must get similar results.

MagGen is at an earlier stage, but we are in touch with an independent laboratory equipped to do such work. Those tests are still on the horizon. When completed, we intend to bring a prototype to the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory.

A magnetic generator without apparent input and no moving parts was publicly demonstrated by Hans Coler in Germany in 1925. Two years later, Nobelist Werner Heisenberg stated: “I believe it is possible to utilize magnetism as an energy source.” Coler worked with the German Navy during WWII and his lab was bombed shortly before the war ended. He went to England where he cooperated with British Intelligence, which published a Report on his work in 1946. It is now easily available on the internet.
Several German University professors witnessed his work and concluded there was no evidence of fraud and that a new source of energy was apparent - and worthy of careful investigation.

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By nora, October 21, 2009 at 7:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

RE: miller @ 10/20 6:12 and mentioning how the status quo will remain the status quo.

From my perspective, I don’t think this is about maintaining the status quo.  The Oligarchy and their selected Power Elite don’t want consumers who function with the free choice of buying power.

There is a shift going on—huge quantities of wealth being CONSOLIDATED, taking our wealth (even future wealth by increasing our taxpayer DEBT via bail out financing), reducing The People’s ability to be property owners, ‘freeing’ vast swaths of real estate via foreclosures for the next round of consolidation of ACTUAL property/land in order to realize reactionary goals of reducing the citizenry to serf (propertyless) status, culminating in divesting government of all wealth of the Commons via PRIVATIZATION—and this planned shift is a restoration of a State controlled by Slavers and Royalty. If only a status quo where a middle class exists could be maintained; but those in control have already initiated a process that is destroying the middle class by destroying the infrastructure that supported the middle class.  A handful of controlling corporations won’t need or care to compete for our “consumer dollars”; they won’t even care if we have dollars.  We will exist for them merely as units from which to extract every drop of our wealth in the form of our labor and excrutiatingly high-priced basic necessities.  The global Oligarchs tested this in the Soviet Union already; they know the limits of reducing choices for consumer goods, they know the levels of profits to be made via the black market, they know how to pull the plug on the weak (as they did when the Soviet Union collapsed and the sick and elderly were out on the street).  They’ve done their practice and know the guaranteed profits they can expect from societies that lack a middle class, they KNOW how to create/regain a Have and Have-Not (royal) society and realize even higher profits for the very few.

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By Lucas, October 21, 2009 at 7:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Post - Take 2

I can certainly agree that the current capitalist state cannot exist if there is to ever be any environmental or ecological restoration and I very much agree that “corporations look at everything, from human beings to the natural environment, as exploitable commodities” but I think it’s very strange that there is not a single mention of animal agriculture in this article. There is talk of species extinction, depleted oceans, desertification, overuse of resources and energy, pollution, overall environmental degradation, and what is called “climate change”, but there’s no mention of one of the biggest contributors to all these things and more, a big contributor that one can easily avoid participating in. I’m not exactly sure if they overlooked it willfully or out of genuine ignorance. There is a passing mention of “agriculture” but the fact that much of the land is used to grow animals for food (50 billion per year +, not including aquatic animals) and the food to feed these animals (the large numbers of animals to feed results in intensive, monocropping systems), who in turn create gigantic amounts of waste and pollution, is not mentioned anywhere, not even an attempted dismissal. I mean, it’s certainly not outside the scope of the article.

Considering Jensen says the book, The Vegetarian Myth (which i have read), saved his life, I’m not surprised that he would avoid such an issue. Like the author of The V Myth- Lierre Keith, Jensen is caught up in being “anti-civilization” and pro-population control with an ideal future consisting of a drastically reduced population of humans living closer to the way “hunter-gatherers” (i’d say “gatherer-hunters”) lived and therefore being “truly” environmentally harmonious. This clearly overlooks real, practical solutions to the problem that are equitable for all of the current growing population.

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By stcfarms, October 21, 2009 at 6:34 pm Link to this comment

I know science changes the ‘known’ laws of physics when data supports it but
it does seem unlikely that any of these experiments will do that. Theory is
great and science would not advance without it, the trick is not waste time on
unproductive theories.

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By Mark Goldes, October 21, 2009 at 5:44 pm Link to this comment

The laws of physics are never violated by experiments, only modified as more is learned.

The history of science is replete with examples.

If independent laboratories find excess heat that cannot be explained by existing theory, it should be obvious that the theory needs to be modified.

One lab has done the experiments. Now let several more repeat them. If the results support the Rowan work, dogmatic assertions will dissolve.

Science advances by experiments, which occasionally open new vistas.

A new, inherently cost-competitive source of energy will clearly change the entire economic landscape.

If 250 kilowatt power plants emerge from BlackLight Power next year, as they have stated, it will be difficult to deny the new science.

Our own work with Energy from Collapsing Hydrogen Orbits - ECHO, suggests that this new science can be applied to existing vehicles as a retrofit. It can probably help new vehicles easily meet and surpass the new EPA mileage rules.

When Self Powered Internal Combustion Engines - SPICE, first emerge, they may be used to provide replacements for home furnaces. Later versions will power hybrid vehicles.

Nobody expects this to be believed until working engine examples are demonstrated. That is a goal for next year.

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By stcfarms, October 21, 2009 at 5:28 pm Link to this comment

When the breakthroughs get here sign me up. At present I am limited by the
laws of physics and common sense.

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By Lucas, October 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I can certainly agree that the current capitalist state cannot exist if there is to ever be any environmental or ecological restoration and I very much agree that “corporations look at everything, from human beings to the natural environment, as exploitable commodities” but I think it’s very strange that there is not a single mention of animal agriculture in this article. There is talk of species extinction, depleted oceans, desertification, overuse of resources and energy, pollution, overall environmental degradation, and what is called “climate change”, but there’s no mention of one of the biggest contributors to all these things and more, a big contributor that one can easily avoid participating in. I’m not exactly sure if they overlooked it willfully or out of genuine ignorance. There is a passing mention of “agriculture” but the fact that much of the land is used to grow animals for food (50 billion per year +, not including aquatic animals) and the food to feed these animals (the large numbers of animals to feed results in intensive, monocropping systems), who in turn create gigantic amounts of waste and pollution, is not mentioned anywhere, not even an attempted dismissal. I mean, it’s certainly not outside the scope of the article.

Considering Jensen says the book, The Vegetarian Myth (which i have read), saved his life, I’m not surprised that he would avoid such an issue. Like the author of The V Myth- Lierre Keith, Jensen is caught up in being “anti-civilization” and pro-population control with an ideal future consisting of a drastically reduced population of humans living closer to the way “hunter-gatherers” (i’d say “gatherer-hunters”) lived and therefore being “truly” environmentally harmonious. Only problem is that only a small fraction of the current population would be able to live out this fantasy. This elitist position clearly overlooks real, practical solutions to the problem that are equitable for all of the current growing population.

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By Mark Goldes, October 21, 2009 at 3:53 pm Link to this comment

While governments fiddle and the planet threatens to metaphorically burn, the love affair with the automobile opens a surprising, cost-effective, path to sharply reducing the need for fossil fuels.

Revolutionary new technology will make possible electric cars that need no recharge - as well as hybrid engines that might need as fuel only a gallon of water every 1,000 miles.

The breakthroughs are en-route! Solid-state magnetic generators that convert energy sources not previously utilized will replace batteries and the need to plug-in. An early objective, following independent laboratory validation, is to cut the cord on a plug-in hybrid and provide 2,000 watts from a MagGen™, as a substitute, since that is the maximum power commonly provided by a wall outlet. Such a demonstration has long been a goal. It is at last becoming visible on the horizon.

Hybrid engines that are powered by Energy from Collapsing Hydrogen Orbits - ECHO™ are moving forward on a parallel track. Rowan University has validated excess heat generation that cannot be explained by existing science. The experiments have been published and can readily be replicated by other laboratories.

Those concerned with climate change, new economic opportunities and the possible future faltering of our existing economic recovery, should see that these experiments are repeated in distinguished laboratories elsewhere, as fast as is humanly possible.

The Rowan validation began the process of proving that new technology can allow a barrel of water to replace 200 barrels of oil!

Both technologies lend themselves to Vehicle to Grid (V2G) power. Existing plug-in hybrids can be equipped with 2 way plugs that can carry up to 25 kW. Car owners are expected to earn up to $4,000 each year selling power to local utilities. Delaware is leading the way. California, Colorado and North Carolina are also experimenting.

MagGen™ and ECHO can utilize wireless V2G technology that can provide up to 150 kW. This has been called Super V2G. It will open the door to vehicles that pay for themselves over time. Who will not want such a car or truck?

The planet is pregnant with never before commercialized, new sources of energy.  They offer exciting new potential and will inevitably accelerate the transition beyond fossil fuels.

The article:  5 Steps to Revive the Auto Industry and the Economy on the website: http://www.aesopinstitute.org  will provide more information about these breakthroughs.

Radically new technologies will seductively let the love affair with vehicles change much of what is currently believed about energy. Let’s accelerate the process!

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By stcfarms, October 21, 2009 at 2:08 pm Link to this comment

You could get out and do something to stop the problem. Your feeling of
helplessness was created by the public fool system to keep you from standing
up to the empire. The training of drones for the empire requires that you give
up the ability to think for yourself, you can get it back with a little work.

  I hope that we never get to the point where government decides who can or
cannot breed, we will end up with a planet full of bankers and the powers that
be.


By John de Waal, October 21 at 1:41 pm #
(Unregistered commenter)

I am, and have been, alarmed by the deteriorating condition of our planet, for
more years than I can think of. But as an individual, there is little I can do,
other than watch in horror.

But the most urgent thing we must undertake is the reduction of our numbers.

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By stcfarms, October 21, 2009 at 1:51 pm Link to this comment

Militant actions solve nothing and actually makes things worse. Going out and
doing something positive on the other hand educates. Complacency will
disappear when the food and water disappears but we need to have the
solution in place before that point is reached. The idea that only governments
or corporations can solve the problem is ludicrous, if we do not do it ourselves
it will not happen. No sane person expect, or wants, the help of the criminals
that created the problem. If none of the solution put forth to date look
promising then come up with one of your own and implement it.

By Rvlt, October 21 at 11:30 am #
(Unregistered commenter)

I wonder where readers go from here. Most of us are too afraid to walk away
from what we currently know.

I just wonder what are we supposed to do next? What will it take for people to
really stand up and push back?

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By Anarcissie, October 21, 2009 at 11:26 am Link to this comment

I don’t know what the truth of the matter is, but it appears to me that the climate-change folks have overplayed their rhetorical hand: the predictions have become so catastrophic that most people no longer believe they can do anything about the problem.  We are left with Chris Hedges’s apocalyptic hysteria—he sounds like he’s ready to get down with Earth First! for some serious trashing, even though even that won’t do any good.

However, if the ice pack and so forth really are melting and the seas are going to rise ten feet, then that’s what’s going to happen and those who plan to be alive ten or twenty years down the road need to worry about mitigation, not prevention.  Prevention’s evidently a lost cause.  Going by what is said, that is.

I myself am somewhat skeptical about both the climate-change and the population figures.  Everything seems to be estimated based on simulation models and guesswork.  However, the general cybernetic principle that all undamped positive-feedback loops eventually blow up is mathematically true.  If we’re in one, it’s going to blow up.

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By Night-Gaunt, October 21, 2009 at 11:12 am Link to this comment

Just remember that like with the Romans the Republic had to fall long before the empire did. Ours is still a republic for awhile longer. When it becomes a full empire you will think that the Bush/Cheney regime was liberal next to it.

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By Baka Karasu, October 21, 2009 at 10:58 am Link to this comment

Nice set of arguments, but none of the goals you state or the methods you imply to reach them are meaningful without a rapid decrease in population growth (not just in the rate of increase).

See http://www.paulchefurka.ca and read Wm. Catton’s classic “Overshoot”

You mention that a bridge might last less than 12 hours in Irag.  (Probably not a good example of environmental action targeting - there’s many kinds of bridges and a wide range of people and stuff that can go over them.) 

But, if you want to look at a meaningful action that can take place in a 12 hour period, consider this: per the “World Vital Events” page at the US Census website (http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/ipc/pcwe) there are 15,346 people born every hour.  Multiply by twelve hours = just over 184,000.

184,000 less people on the planet would have much more impact on the environment both now and into the future than any other potential action.

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By Sallyport, October 21, 2009 at 10:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The single most important step toward reducing the carbon impact is to
STOP THE WARS.  No industry is anywhere near the carbon output of all military
operations.  Subtract war and the corps would be on an automatic reducing diet!

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By John de Waal, October 21, 2009 at 10:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am, and have been, alarmed by the deteriorating condition of our planet, for more years than I can think of. But as an individual, there is little I can do, other than watch in horror.

Mr. Hedges can put things rather nicely, and he is perfectly right that all the band-aid solutions to global warming are but a pinprick into the beast that is destroying our world and our survival. But I think that his attack on our corporate culture is misplaced. It is not the corporations that are doing the damage, but human greed. Corporations are simply organized greed, but the real damage is done by the humans that run these organizations. Destroying corporations will only result in a shortage of the many products that we are now taking for granted: clothes, shoes, cars, entertainment, energy, water, food…
Instead of violence, I think that we the people must use our organization, i.e. the government, to make profits at the expense of all of us a dirty deed, the government must determine if a product or service benefits humanity positively or negatively and tax these products accordingly.
People who are accumulating pots of money by exploiting the rest of us must be exposed: name, address, how they gathered their money, how just they are hurting us.
Because the government is the corporation of the people, those involved in running it must also be held accountable and subject to getting fired or more severe punishment if they use their position to hurt the people.
But the most urgent thing we must undertake is the reduction of our numbers. We are now nearly seven billion people, and considering average life expectancies, 234.5 times the number who lived worldwide when the Bible was put together in 325AD. This number must be reduced to where we have a chance to sustain ourselves. Education would be ideal, but I do not think it will work. Taxation of every child brought into the world over a quota set by government may be the answer. Certainly religion must be totally separated from government for such a scheme to work.
Whether all of this will remedy global warming is questionable, but with total cooperation among people,even if it is forced,and more manageble numbers, our changes of survival and a quality life will certainly be greater.

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By FreeCanadian, October 21, 2009 at 10:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The author is unbelievably alarmist. The world will not be destroyed in our
lifetime unless an asteroid the size of africa hits earth.  The whole global
warming/climate crisis is a dangerous tool of population control and
manipulation.

For people to adopt a radical solution an imminent problem must be at hand
that generates fear.  The radical solution = carbon tax…the manufactured
imminent problem =  CO2 emissions.  Are people scared = yes

Read this paper before declaring lack of action results in inevitable
catastrophe:
http://www.spinonthat.com/CO2_files/CO2tdino.pdf

I also suggest listening to Christopher Monckton on the topic…Al Gore fears
this man and refuses to debate him.

Now most of you will dismiss this because you have been heavily influenced by
your trusted news sources but take a chance and critically think about the
problem….the truth will set you free.  I am not scared.

You want to get riled up over something investigate the FED.  You want to
target an environmental issue look no further than Depleted Uranium & the
imperial wars.  You want to stop the rise of global fascism then get involved.

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By Rvlt, October 21, 2009 at 8:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Great article Chris, you’re right on point. However,
I wonder where readers go from here. Most of us are
too afraid to walk away from what we currently know.

I struggle over the idea of how helpful militant
direct action is in the long run. Personally, I
support groups like the ELF and ALF, who act
responsibly, and to their “code.” But I wonder what
these actions will lead to long term. Most people
turn away calling those who act or support these
actions as extremists. How does that perception
change when most people are complacent?

I agree with Litl Bludot and many of the posters on
here- the police and military serve the interests of
corporations and the state (these two are pretty much
the same). To think they serve the interests of the
people is foolishly naive.
Persons are silenced in peaceful gatherings or
encouraged to act “violently” through the use of fear
and intimidation. I think it is a pretty natural
response when NOBODY listens or cares.

I just wonder what are we supposed to do next? Laws
are being written with even wider reach. At some
point there needs to be a large push back from the
people. People should not be afraid of their
government, the government should be afraid of the
people. Afraid that it will be torn down and thrown
away. I feel in some ways we’re getting closer to
this, but then people receive a tiny bit of good news
about their wallets and settle down again. What will
it take for people to really stand up and push back?

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By prosefights, October 21, 2009 at 7:07 am Link to this comment

Fox News - Senator Inhofe on possible global warming hoax

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Skf8bpl8WSg&NR=1

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By Eric Sundin, October 21, 2009 at 6:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr Hedges is again discerning, and prophetic even, and shall to our horror be
proven correct.

Here are however the scientific facts relating to methane release:

There is scientific consensus that methane clathrates (often called methane
hydrates) are melting releasing methane into the atmosphere. It is very unlikely
to melt in the ocean floor (suggested by the author) as they form under the
pressure provided by the water, which will not change over time, but the likely
to be released from the permafrost (in Canadian and Russian tundra) as the
hydrates in this case form because of the cold temperature.  See the link
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methane_clathrate

Toxicity (as author called it) has nothing to do with global warming, and the
choices of word that used by the author is wrong and misleading. The correct
term here is “global warming potential”, See below:

The global warming potential (GWP) depends on both the efficiency of the
molecule as a greenhouse gas and its atmospheric lifetime. GWP is measured
relative to the same mass of CO2 and evaluated for a specific timescale. Thus,
if a molecule has a high GWP on a short time scale (say 20 years) but has only a
short lifetime, it will have a large GWP on a 20 year scale but a small one on a
100 year scale. Conversely, if a molecule has a longer atmospheric lifetime
than CO2 its GWP will increase with time.

Methane has an atmospheric lifetime of 12 ± 3 years and a GWP of 72 over 20
years, 25 over 100 years and 7.6 over 500 years. The decrease in GWP at
longer times is because methane is degraded to water and CO2 through
chemical reactions in the atmosphere.

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By ProfBob, October 21, 2009 at 1:58 am Link to this comment

The New Scientist’s (Sept 9, 2009) feature showing the world getting better from 1990 to 2007 gives us some ‘damn lies’ that seem to be statistics. For example, regarding hunger, it shows that—30% of the world’s population was hungry in 1990 and only 26% were hungry in 2007. But the world’s population increased from 5.264 billion to 6.572 billion during those years, so the actual number of hungry people was 1.58 billion in 1990 and 1.709 billion in 2007. Was this an improvement? Similarly for fresh water 22% were without in 1990 and 19% were without in 2007. In actual people it was 1.157 billion in 1990 and 1.248 billion in 2007.
  But the article correctly points out the problem with human overpopulation. We should heed the warnings in the free ebook series ‘In Search of Utopia’ (http://andgulliverreturns.info) and the current updated facts in http://overpopulation.org

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By nora, October 20, 2009 at 11:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Brilliant except for the call to militancy. (Since ‘militancy’ is not defined here, I am assuming it is meant we are to read it as I see it in the dictionary:  Combative, engaged in warfare.  That is, reflecting back to the Miltarists (Military Industrial Complex) a like resistance.)

I always get the feeling a call to militancy is the give-away of the provocateur.  Just want to put that out in order to cover all bases.

Anyway, the point is, I see no way that we can beat them at THEIR game.  We must reinvent the game, change every rule, do it our way, and make THEM adapt!

Especially NOW:  If the environment is fragile, teetering, I can see no reason whatsoever to add more destruction to it via militant acts.  If the whole point is to END the destruction on Earth’s surface, how can one propose a course of action that does just that?

Indeed, we must preserve a core of industrial methodology just to be able to clean up the existing industrial messes/failures, contain the existing deadly nuclear material and waste, adequately contain and RECYCLE all our previous waste in every landfill, etc.  You don’t do that by injuring via militant acts what it takes to cleanse their destruction and contain the evil genie in its bottle. 

I agree the Insane are in control right now.  It is a matter of a need for DEEP psychological change, change of mindset, worldview.  I do not vote to replace these Militarists with those who likewise find destruction and fire and hurt an acceptable tool.  We need to be more creative than that.  We need something so wonderful, so beautiful, everyone happily tunes out from being propagandized by the corporate media, and so unplugs from the Corporate Worldview.

Just as they sold us smoking cancer sticks using sex in advertising, we need to make sure that no rip-off corporatist or obscenely wealthy individual or any accoutrement of the Corporatist/Slaver Realm is EVER seen again as potent or sexy or desireable.  The Slavers are squirming parasites.  They are Economic Schistosomiasis.  They must be seen as the Ugly Disease of Humanity, clear and simple. That won’t happen as long as they mesmerize us with their special effects. We need a vaccine alright.  We need to use what they used against us for generations: Something similar to Advertising Campaigns, but BETTER.  But we must never pay to use their corporate media.  We MUST use our OWN MEDIA.  And OUR MEDIA IS ART.  (No corporation has ever created ART; they pretend they do, but they don’t.  They use/exploit artists to create packaging and products and propaganda, that’s all.)  ART must be our only defense:  The ART of song and dance and beauty and scrubbing the Earth clean and planting/reforesting it GREEN again. ART awakens the imagination and the imagination is our portal to creation and manisfestation snd well-being always.  (For a while the Corporatists convinced us that consumption was a creative pursuit, but that’s hogwash, sheepdip.  The EXPRESSIVENESS of ART in concert with Nature is the essence of creativity.)

Eschew militancy.  EMBRACE ART.  That’s how a New Culture is created!  The reality of what we alone can create with Nature.  Simple.  Elegant. Clean.  Pure.  UNCORPORATIZED!

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By stcfarms, October 20, 2009 at 11:41 pm Link to this comment

Progressing where? There has been a progressive movement as long as there
has been a US government, I have not seen a lot of progress. People stand up
to the machine in many ways, including talking to reporters. Like the 1936
Germans I am leaving before the empire collapses. There is a non violent way
to stop the empire, quit accepting their fiat money and related debt. Since the
morons cannot live without the fiat money they will stay with the empire until
it is toast.

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By D.R. Zing, October 20, 2009 at 10:28 pm Link to this comment

What gives, Chris, are you trying to destroy the progressive movement?

This article does nothing to help the ecosystem or anything else.

Quotes like this: “‘We need to use whatever means are necessary to stop this culture from killing the planet. We need to target and take down the industrial infrastructure…’” give federal prosecutors probable cause under The Patriot Act to take out surveillance warrants not just on the person who said it but also anyone with whom he associates. 

You know that.

Your bio says you “served for eight years as the Middle East bureau chief of The New York Times.”

You’re not just an average reporter or even a good reporter; you are one of the top journalists in the world.

Just who are you investigating with an article like this one? 

Why are you writing columns that will get people thrown in jail and give the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal ammunition to categorize all progressives as a bunch of violent nutjobs?

You’re not some pissed off college student who doesn’t understand the implications of writing such columns. 

Just what the hell are you up to?

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By Outraged, October 20, 2009 at 10:13 pm Link to this comment

Re: Frank

Your comment: “Americans are making changes to reduce their carbon footprint in many ways, but it matters little. The problem is that these modest efforts are far outstripped by the number of immigrants pouring across the southern border to become high-consumption ‘Americans’.”

It appears you miss the true nature of the problem.

Article quote: “THE DAMAGE TO THE ENVIRONMENT BY HUMAN HOUSEHOLDS IS MINUSCULE next to the damage done by corporations. Municipalities and individuals use 10 percent of the nation’s water while the other 90 percent is consumed by agriculture and industry. Individual consumption of energy accounts for about a quarter of all energy consumption; the other 75 percent is consumed by corporations. Municipal waste accounts for only 3 percent of total waste production in the United States. We can, and should, live more simply, but it will not be enough if we do not radically transform the economic structure of the industrial world.” (emphasis mine)

This is the TRUE nature of the problem.  Did you read the article?  In this regard, how is it you contend that by attacking the least of the problem it will solve the most of it…?

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By KDelphi, October 20, 2009 at 9:27 pm Link to this comment

Litl Bludot—Yes, i agree with all that you are saying….South America could be a bright spot for those that can afford to go…the USA Patriot Act really slammed a door open that was already opening.

Frank—the reason carbon emmissions are down is mostly attributed to a peoples’ lack of income to “turn up the heat”, “drive their car”, etc. Consumption always goes down in a Depression. But , going back to prior consumption levels (ie “growing the economy”) is exactly what we do not need.

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By stcfarms, October 20, 2009 at 9:09 pm Link to this comment

Yeah, my people thought of that in 1492.

By Frank, October 20 at 11:29 pm #

Step one in any serious plan to slow climate change is to SECURE THE
BORDERS and repatriate existing illegals back to their lower-consumption
points of origins.

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By Frank, October 20, 2009 at 8:29 pm Link to this comment

Americans are making changes to reduce their carbon footprint in many ways, but it matters little. The problem is that these modest efforts are far outstripped by the number of immigrants pouring across the southern border to become high-consumption ‘Americans’.

Step one in any serious plan to slow climate change is to SECURE THE BORDERS and repatriate existing illegals back to their lower-consumption points of origins.

Despite the major positive impact this would have on both the economy and the environment, it won’t happen. This is where all the environmentalists will suddenly turn mealy-mouthed and show their impotence and hypocrisy with respect to the environmental costs of immigration.

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D.R. Zing's avatar

By D.R. Zing, October 20, 2009 at 4:49 pm Link to this comment

Wow. Chris. 

If there is any better way to sabotage an underground movement before it gets started than by getting inflammatory quotes from the planners and placing the quotes on a website that can be easily monitored by the powers that be—I don’t know of it.

Good job!

Bravo! 

Keep up the good work!

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By Xntrk, October 20, 2009 at 3:57 pm Link to this comment

Miller says that “...It’s easy to pick on the corporations,
but,WE ARE the corporations. We buy from them. Our
401ks are invested in them. WE SUPPORT THEM. Until
enough folks look into their hearts and act on what
is in their hearts, the status quo will remain the
status quo.

No it won’t, the ‘status quo’ will become increasing Environmental Degradation, Poverty, Immigration, Disease, War, Thirst, Hunger, and Death. Then Civilization, as we call it, will end. Perhaps pockets of humans will remain, or perhaps they will be smothered by methane gas escaping from the thawed tundra in the arctic.

One good thing that will vanish along with most [or all] of humanity, is the willful ignorance of so many.

Interestingly, on the same subject as Kdelphi’s post about Bolivia and mine about ALBA, is Fidel’s latest Reflection: The Alba and Copenhagen.

You can read it here:
http://www.granma.cu/ingles/2009/octubre/mar20/Reflections-19oct.html

Or here: http://www.prensa-latina.cu/index.php?lang=EN

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By Litl Bludot, October 20, 2009 at 3:35 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi, yes, mass protests would be a bit safer. I am not sure just how effective or safer they would be.  You remember that millions of us protested against starting a war in Iraq.  Completely ignored by the corporate media, or downplayed.  Also, the robo cops have learned to avoid being filmed doing their deeds. They do this by arresting independent journalists and confiscating their equipment BEFORE the event, and by targeting media during the event.  Also, the robo cops will strike protesters who are a distance away from any media.

I want to mention one other factor that I believe is important. That is the take over of our military and police by the christian wingnuts.

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20071107_the_cancer_from_within/

Since they believe in the eminent second coming and the concomitant end of the world, the control of the most powerful military on earth implementing a self fulfilling prophecy is a distinct possibility. The use of the military and the CIA domestically is now occurring in “fusion” centers around the country, where intelligence is being shared about citizen groups (i.e. possible terrorists). This was reported on DN.  With our phones, computers, and all other forms of communication subject to real time monitoring, and the planting of corporate/military/local police spies in any environmental (or otherwise ngo) organization, it will be difficult, to say the least, to have a successful mass movement.

But, of course, we are in the belly of the beast.  Perhaps those countries in South America will be a refuge for activists.  I don’t know.  The U.S. is pushing back, as we see with the coup in Honduras. That is probably the start of a covert plan to overthrow any other states that are threatening corporate control of resources. There are a few in S.A.

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By miller, October 20, 2009 at 3:12 pm Link to this comment

This article is fallacious because it does not
consider the fact that those corporations depend upon
people like us to continue to buy their products and
services. The list of villains is a lot longer than
this piece would have us believe. As a society, we
demand and corporations supply.

How many Americans are willing to do without
automobiles, or electricity (coal),or central heating
(oil & gas)? How many Americans will stop buying and
using cars and start walking or bicycling? How many
Americans are willing to put their actions and
wallets on the line to stop using the products
created by these corporations?  How many Americans in
the Northeast, say,would be willing to do without
fruit and vegetables from California during the
winter, when local produce is unavailable?

The corporations mentioned in the article are making
money or they wouldn’t be doing what they do.  If we,
as a society, started acting on these sentiments as
opposed to ‘just going along’ those corporations
would listen because their livelihood would then be
threatened.  It’s easy to pick on the corporations,
but,WE ARE the corporations. We buy from them. Our
401ks are invested in them. WE SUPPORT THEM. Until
enough folks look into their hearts and act on what
is in their hearts, the status quo will remain the
status quo.

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By stcfarms, October 20, 2009 at 3:11 pm Link to this comment

Knowing who killed Kennedy or destroyed a couple of buildings is irrelevant,
knowing how to keep climate change from becoming an extinction level event
is relevant. If you do not intend to help at least stay out of the way of those
that do intend to help.

By Frank Martino, October 20 at 4:40 pm #
(Unregistered commenter)

WOW! This is better than any Hollywood horror movie. What Hubris. Started
with Genesis didn’t it folks? WE are going to save the planet,change the
climate? We don’t even know who killed Kennedy. 911? Pass the popcorn.

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By stcfarms, October 20, 2009 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment

If you feed the corporations they grow, if you do not feed the corporations
they die, how is that powerless?

By KDelphi, October 20 at 4:08 pm #

” It is because corporations look at everything, from human beings to the
natural environment, as exploitable commodities. It is because consumption is
the engine of corporate profits. We have allowed the corporate state to sell the
environmental crisis as a matter of personal choice when actually there is a
need for profound social and economic reform. We are left powerless.”

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By Frank Martino, October 20, 2009 at 1:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

WOW! This is better than any Hollywood horror movie. What Hubris. Started with Genesis didn’t it folks? WE are going to save the planet,change the climate? We don’t even know who killed Kennedy. 911? Pass the popcorn.

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By KDelphi, October 20, 2009 at 1:08 pm Link to this comment

” It is because corporations look at everything, from human beings to the natural environment, as exploitable commodities. It is because consumption is the engine of corporate profits. We have allowed the corporate state to sell the environmental crisis as a matter of personal choice when actually there is a need for profound social and economic reform. We are left powerless.”

Corporate Capitalism is incompatible with life.

Litl Bluedot—I agree, having participated in recent sit-ins at health “insurance” industry buildings,that the poplice state is upon us, but, if there were MORE of us, if would be much more difficult to beat us down.

South America is pulling ahead of North on issue of global warming:http://www.wwviews.org/node/128

WorlWideViews on global warming (newsltter)http://www.wwviews.org/files/WWViews_newsletter_no4_161009.pdf

News about Copenhagen and the crappy ideas that we are bringing there—c’mon, if Bolivia can manage change, that doesnt say much for us. Well, it says what Hedges says. That Capitalism is incompaable with life.

Night Guant has a good point here:“I agree with Hedges and have advocated it myself here and on some other forums. We must change our collective and individual behavior or we will surly perish in huge numbers. Evolution isn’t just about morphology but also behavior adaptions too. “

Rebuilding land just is not very appealing to me. Lets fix what we have.

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By Xntrk, October 20, 2009 at 1:06 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, Interesting comments as always, but I am not sure I agree with your conclusions. I think Cuba will use China as they have other countries, to provide many of the things they lack. OTOH, I think Latin America, led by Cuba and Venezuela are constructing a new paradigm. China and Vietnam have a common history and social mores that goes far beyond their current constructs of Communistic Capitalism, which seems to be based on maintaining the power structure at any cost, while competing full steam ahead with the Western Powers.

Latin America is not averse to modern amenities, but with the creation of ALBA, the Bank of the South [to replace the IMF], and the new currency called SUCRE [sugar anyone] to replace the dollar in their own trade zone, they are attempting to recreate the dreams of unity fostered by Bolivar and Marti, rather then those of European theorists. ALBA met with the African Union Nations this month to work on similar programs with them. I think the Colonies are moving on.

Not only does Cuba export both Medical Professionals and Teachers, it also provides free University Educations to thousands of foreign students from countries around the world. It has also formulated new varieties of communal endeavors that replace the USSR’s mass collectivization with much smaller co-ops, and allowing individual and co-op businesses within carefully defined limits.

When I visited Cuba two years ago, I spent my time in Havana and Cienfuego [5 weeks total] I stayed in El Centro, Havana in the older part of the city, not Vedado, which is the high-class part of town. In Cienfuego I was kind of in the suburbs. In both places, I depended on bici-taxis and foot power for transportation [as do the Cubans].

As an Islander, I am dependent on the sea, so that is where I tended to end up on my explorations. I didn’t observe much deterioration from extreme weather in either town. Rather, it was the usual stuff of poor maintenance, and 400 year old buildings in the inner cities. Havana is rebuilding at about the same rate it is decaying. Cienfuego is a restored masterpiece. The suburbs were a mix of old and new construction - mostly concrete, and unpaved roads.

What I did pay attention to were the small garden plots, carefully tended, in both locations. The growers also sold their produce either at Markets [Havana], or street side produce stands [Cienfuego]. It was very similar, both in ambiance and economic mix as East Hawaii. Working Class, Lower Middle Class Communities, only without the homeless and pan-handlers.

Also, few cops, and none with guns. VERY different from Mexico, where I have also traveled a lot.

Anyway, I would recommend that we pay more attention to the innovations that Chavez is implementing in Venezuela. Even Fidel says that 2009 is a different world then he faced in 1959. The experiments in Venezuela with “small d democracy” based on the neighborhoods and local communities is creating a new kind of economy. The neighborhoods decide what needs fixing or creating, and presents its plans to the City or County Government - and is given the money to do the work. Interesting! The money stays at home rather than going to a local developer who pays off the inspectors.

They have also turned over some companies to the employees to operate [usually in industries that are foreign owned and controlled]. Both Bolivia and Venezuela are trying to increase the power of the indigenous communities [tiny in Venezuela].

Now, if we would just butt out, these Developing Nations may come up with some of the answers we all need. I don’t think Plan Columbia and the Merida Accord with Mexico is going to be a solution.

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By rideforever, October 20, 2009 at 12:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I agree with jwgn’s insights into the roots of the problem - and any other comments that don’t get to this level of insight are just part of the noise in society.

I am reading a book that deals with Death at the moment “Staring at the Sun”, and it strikes me that one way to make things change on the planet is to begin talking about Death.  Go on TV and talk about Death, protest about it, write books and blogs about Death ... just get it into the Culture, so that people on the street talk about it.

It could make a big difference because (a) it is just under the surface anyway and wouldn’t take much to break it out, (b) discussing Death means discussing life, what it means to be alive and live well ... and then something could change.

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By jwgn, October 20, 2009 at 11:54 am Link to this comment

You speak of reality.  The reality is that we don’t live in a pre-industrial world. We live in a world of billions of people, most of whom live in extremely complex and very technology-dependent urban and semi-urban conditions—far from nature, far from being able to earn a living or even subsist in an agricultural world, still less a nomadic or forager’s world. Corporations are a serious problem, but they are a branch, not the root. Communist countries polluted as well as any other country.

There is no viable alternative to oil. Not unless you want to kill off half of humanity. It is pure fantasy to think so—and biofuels are scarcely the answer, neither is nuclear power.

It’s simple. It’s called fatality. Read some Greek plays. Play chess. Make the wrong moves and you reduce your possibilities of action. You run out of space and time. The root is industrialism, and the planet has become fatally dependent on it. And industrialism depends on a mental formation that began already at the time of the Renaissance. It is a desacralized view of the cosmos—a fatal view, because—and this is Reality:
“in Him we live, and we move, and we have our being.”

Of course, it goes without saying that modern man on the whole doesn’t want to hear this.  That too is fatality.

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By Folktruther, October 20, 2009 at 11:35 am Link to this comment

Xntrik, Cuba has also initiated a very interesting export device, trading medical personell to Venzuela in return for their oil. the export of medical serviees rather than industrial production indicates a possible new dierection for trade.

I don’t know how they paid for the 500 new buses they got from China, which cost 2 or 3 hundred million dollars, but they worked it out somehow.  People who have been to Cuba say that the waterfront buildings are deteriorating fromthe salt water and will have to be repaired.

I would guess however that Cuba will liberalize consumer firms as China did to increase their economic production.  Also they have discovered oil off shore and will need money to develop it.  I would guess that Cuba will follow the Chinese route power-wise, so far only followed by Vietnam.

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By jwgn, October 20, 2009 at 11:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You speak of reality.  The reality is that we don’t live in a pre-industrial world. We live in a world of billions of people, most of whom are in extremely complex and very technology-dependent urban and semi-urban conditions—far from nature, far from being able to earn a living or even subsist in an agricultural world, still less a nomadic or forager’s world. Corporations are a serious problem, but they are a branch, not the root. Communist countries polluted as well as any other country.

There is no viable alternative to oil. It is pure fantasy to think so—and biofuels are scarcely the answer, nor a nuclear.

It’s simple Chris. It’s called fatality. Read some Greek plays. Play chess. Make the wrong moves and you reduce your possibilities of action. You run out of space and time. The root is industrialism, and the planet has become fatally dependent on it. And industrialism depends on a mental formation that began already at the time of the Renaissance. It is a desacralized view of the cosmos—a fatal view, because—and this is Reality:
“in Him we live, and we move, and we have our being.”

Of course, it goes without saying that modern man doesn’t want to hear this.  That is fatality.

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By Night-Gaunt, October 20, 2009 at 11:17 am Link to this comment

Militant does not mean military so please don’t confuse the two. But then maybe I am wrong and he does mean a general monkey wrenching of the present system while a new carbonless or near carbon free technology to replace it with. I don’t think we have till 2030. The north pole being free of ice during the summer was thought to be a dire possibility in 50 years not 10! Despite from what you may have heard, the worst case scenario isn’t bad enough. It is happening faster than conceived before.

War is the most destructive on all levels from GHG production to general biome pollution & eradication. Wars must stop especially by the chief warrior nation, the USA. “The killing must stop.” (Dawn of the Dead, 1978 version.)

Even without hope we can and will soldier on. Most would not commit suicide unless things get really bad. But even then some will survive to live on in the new situation. It would be a far more dangerous world with a far shorter life span for most. In any technological enclaves they could still have the benefits of the 21st century. Others would be just fine living like the Mennonites of today.

The last time we had such drastic climate change, in Europe mostly from 1400’s-1800’s, it produced pestilence, civil wars, international conflict, religious fundamentalism and starvation. We are aiming to that but on a global scale. The religious fundamentalism is already marked right now. It can produce dictatorships from liberal democracies as the pressures all around induce people to take drastic measures to maintain their standards. Rigid lifestyles imposed to continue order in a chaotic world. Bad signs and this with technology that could kill billions and enslave more billions.

I agree with Hedges and have advocated it myself here and on some other forums. We must change our collective and individual behavior or we will surly perish in huge numbers. Evolution isn’t just about morphology but also behavior adaptions too. It it time to adapt and change from our old ways of war and subjugation of others. But those American corporatists want a rigid theocratic based totalitarianist nation right here and it will be harsh but could survive the horrors of climate change. More like N. Korea or Iran than what our founders considered. But only in some ways.

Working together and separately is about all that can be done. Other countries are ignoring what the USA is doing and going their own way from China and Japan to Iceland and Germany moving away from the hydrocarbon tech that is so 19th century. Mutual Aid kind of Anarchism just may be the only way to survive this better than the alternate ones. From printing your own city or state money to utilizing technology ignored by our gov’t/corp who still subsidizes CONG.

Whatever we do, however we face it, the day will come.

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By rideforever, October 20, 2009 at 3:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I agree with author.  But I haven’t hear a realistic solution yet.  Protest ?  To Who ?

There are only 2 outcomes :
- catastrophic failure,
- turning the ship around.

We all know catastrophic failure is likely to happen so let’s talk about turning the ship around :

Society at the moment is appealing to some base desires in man, sex / fear, pretty primal stuff and trumps most other considerations.  And this will take us into catastrophe unless something EVEN more primal than that is appealed to ... what could that be ?  What is more primal than the urge of sex and fear ?  Is there anything ?

Well yes there is, but not in the West.  In the East people have understood the person as being quit different from the West.  Beyond the body (where sex/fear urges come from) and the mind (which is easily caught up in illusion) is something basic, some basic will to live and grow.  A basic will.

Appeal to that.  It is the only way.  Any appeals to social justice or crap like that is always trumped by sex/fear.  You need to go down, down into a person and appeal to something very deep if you want people to change.

It is happening anyway, through therapy, meditation etc… people are finding within themselves their very core and seeing that the way of sex/fear does not help with their growth.  It’s not televised of course.

Any other conversation on this topic, angry people, people who want to protest, or get news coverage for the plight of man ... is doomed.  Society currently appeals to sex/fear and you have to go deep below that to get anywhere.

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By liecatcher, October 19, 2009 at 11:55 pm Link to this comment

The fascists controlling the world have their own

solution. Genocide.

Democracy Now wrote about one billion people around
the

world are currently being starved to death. These

miscreants control our food supply & soon our water

supplies as well. Their goal is to reduce the world

population by several billion people, & so far time

is on their side.

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By Xntrk, October 19, 2009 at 11:54 pm Link to this comment

Has anyone else been reading/studying/thinking about Fidel Castro’s observations concerning Global Warming? He has been speaking and writing about this problem for 15 years or longer. Some of his speeches in the late 1990s are especially pointed, as are some of his recent Reflections.

Granted, the economic situation in Cuba made it mandatory, but it is probably the only nation that is seriously doing everything it can to cut back its ‘carbon footprint’. They are using oxen for farming [and to replace chemical fertilizers]; replacing outdated technology with energy saving improvements: The Government replaced ALL the washing machines with new ones for a cost of $20 each to the home owner [on time]; they have upgraded their oil burning generators in the public power plants with energy efficient ones; They invested in bicycles for transportation and replaced old fuel-hog buses with new energy efficient ones, and they are replacing/rebuilding aqueducts and water pumping stations to eliminate leaks and conserve both water and energy.

It is easy to denigrate these actions because the government can put them into effect unilaterally. But, Cuba is an island with finite resources. They have stabilized their population, and are working towards food independence. By recognizing the seriousness of the problem and immediately starting to alleviate it for the Cuban population, they have become an example to other undeveloped nations with limited resources.

The United States and the other Developed and Developing Nations ignore this at their peril. The Southern Hemisphere and other poor countries and people no longer see the need to continue our self-perceived superiority.

How long can we continue to destroy the water, air, and earth, in the name of run-away Greed and Free Trade? Even dedicated Western Environmentalists seldom discuss the degradation of the environment caused by our endless wars. Ignoring the energy expended by the War Machine, How much carbon do one thousand, 500 ton bombs blast into the atmosphere?

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By stcfarms, October 19, 2009 at 10:40 pm Link to this comment

Did you mean this warning?

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article5407.htm


By Outraged, October 20 at 1:09 am #


I don’t know….  Does anyone else think the “there’s no hope crowd” are the
fruitcakes Eisenhower warned us about?

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By Outraged, October 19, 2009 at 10:09 pm Link to this comment

I don’t know….  Does anyone else think the “there’s no hope crowd” are the fruitcakes Eisenhower warned us about?

As an aside, for those who CLAIM that standing for a cause militantly is violent…. my dictionary (Webster’s New World) had this definition:

“ready and willing to fight; esp., vigorous or aggresive in support or promotion of a cause.”

The accusation that this term, that some have painted as violence, is without merit.  Likely, they MISINTERPRET the term.  There are those who would engage this misinterpretation purposefully, reality dictates that…. those of us who genuinely DO care need to recognize and understand that.  Soldier on.

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By stcfarms, October 19, 2009 at 9:41 pm Link to this comment

What you say is true, we cannot get out of this with technology alone. We also
cannot get out of this with just conservation either. Even if humans
disappeared today the level of carbon would continue to rise for hundreds of
years because we have already passed some tipping points. The water to
irrigate the deserts would come from the islands, either from rain or solar
distillation. We must use conservation along with technology if we are to
survive. The Beijing effect was smog not an overall carbon reduction.

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By Ouroborus, October 19, 2009 at 9:09 pm Link to this comment

stcfarms, October 19 at 11:24 pm #
There is one important fact that most scientists seem
to miss, that every year
during the northern hemisphere summer the carbon
level drops 4 ppm. I
believe that this is a result of the larger land mass
area where vegetation is
growing. If we can match this amount of vegetation on
new ground, be it on
the deserts or the ocean, we can bring the carbon
level of the atmosphere
back to 1750 ad levels in as little as 20 years. We
are in deep trouble but we
are not dead yet.
=============================================
Greening the desert comes at too high a price;
because of L.A., southwestern agriculture (all
irrigated), and over population; the aquifers are
dropping daily and the Colorado river goes into the
ground 30 miles short of the Gulf of California.
We’re not getting out of this with technology alone;
we need drastic conservation starting yesterday. That
is the greenest thing we can do. Without that we’re
done, for the most part. The reason I’m pessimistic
is everybody (with few excepted) is in total denial
and still scrambling for the last drop/crumb of
everything we can’t easily (if at all) replace.
Again, drastic conservation is the only thing we can
all do now that will have an immediate affect.
Beijing is a recent example of the dramatic effect
conservation can achieve in a very short time; the
restriction on cars in the city before and during the
Olympics.

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By G.Anderson, October 19, 2009 at 8:54 pm Link to this comment

“Enjoy life while you can, we have about 20 years before TSHTF….”

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By stcfarms, October 19, 2009 at 8:24 pm Link to this comment

There is one important fact that most scientists seem to miss, that every year
during the northern hemisphere summer the carbon level drops 4 ppm. I
believe that this is a result of the larger land mass area where vegetation is
growing. If we can match this amount of vegetation on new ground, be it on
the deserts or the ocean, we can bring the carbon level of the atmosphere
back to 1750 ad levels in as little as 20 years. We are in deep trouble but we
are not dead yet.

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/carbonlevels/

By Ouroborus, October 19 at 10:59 pm #

We’re in deep trouble.

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By Ouroborus, October 19, 2009 at 7:59 pm Link to this comment

Addendum;
Apparently Lovelock’s Gia theory goes back to the 60’s
so, my mistake regarding Suzuki predating Lovelock; but
my point stands. We’re in deep trouble.

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By Ouroborus, October 19, 2009 at 7:40 pm Link to this comment

G.Anderson, October 19 at 10:26 am #

Even before Lovelock wrote The Gia Hypothesis, David
Suzuki said back in ‘94 that even if we woke up the
next morning and turned off all pollution; it was too
late to stop the inevitable consequences because of the
massive amount of toxins already in the pipeline. This
is 15 years later and we’re not even close. Frankly, I
think Gia will deal with it and we’re not going to like
the outcome.

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By stcfarms, October 19, 2009 at 6:45 pm Link to this comment

It is too bad about Hawaii, just be glad that you are not on Midway or Wake.


By Xntrk, October 19 at 8:06 pm #

We are already seeing flooded ocean front whenever there is a high tide
coupled with a strong wind. I think Hilo is going to be faced with relocating
some of the primary roads in the not too distant future. The main highway
circling the island is flooded, and closed, several times every year. Then there
are the slides caused by heavy rains. I don’t know if they are worse than they
were 40 years ago, but I do know that the designers ignored many potential
problems when they built.

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By TAO Walker, October 19, 2009 at 6:18 pm Link to this comment

As natural organic living communities (Tiyoshpayes, in the Lakotah/Nakotah/Dakotah language) Human Beings can together respond effectively to all of the threats and challenges cataloged in this article….as monstrously daunting as they appear presently.  There will be substantial “losses” to attrition in any event (These are intended to be virtually “total,” among “your huddled masses.) under the insane “dominance” paradigm, but still excellent chances for viable populations of many free wild kinds to get through the final phases of this “global” holocaust (no ‘loaded’ metaphor, just the literal meaning of the word, which anyone can look up), and carry-on Life Herownself’s Song ‘n’ Dance here.

On the other hand, random collections of domesticated “individuals” are (by careful design of their tormentors) shit-out-of-luck.  Such make-believe CONceits as sentiment and morality simply do not signify, either.  That stuff is all only more paving blocks along the soon-to-DEAD-END road to catastrophic oblivion.

Emerge from the smothering shrouds of your “individual” selfs, tame Sisters and Brothers.  Remember each other as altogether Natural Persons, perfectly suited to living free and wild among All Our Relations.

Just FYI, by-the-way:  None of those Native Turtle Islanders murdered by the remnants of the seventh cavalry at Wounded Knee Creek were wearing their Ghost Dance shirts.  Chris Hedges might better stick to things he’s familiar with for making his points.

HokaHey!

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By colin2626262, October 19, 2009 at 5:39 pm Link to this comment

I apologize, I didn’t mean to call him a loon.  But he did say “the trees don’t care.”  That’s a little crazy.  Who said the trees would care?  Does this guy talk to trees?  Anyway, I better stop leaving facetious comments.  I gotta enjoy life before the ice caps melt and kill us all.

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By colin2626262, October 19, 2009 at 5:37 pm Link to this comment

Sorry, I don’t mean to make light of this issue.  I really don’t know much about it.  However, I don’t think it’s as apocalyptic as Mr. Hedges and the loon he quotes from are making it seem.  All the best, truthdiggers (leftist radicals).

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By Frank, October 19, 2009 at 5:31 pm Link to this comment

Immigration’s Dire Effect On The Environment
by B. Meredith Burke
Published on Thursday, June 15, 2000 in the Seattle Times


Editors decide daily which stories to print and how much space to give them. If
unbiased, they lead with the important points, subordinate all others.
Discerning the important from the trivial is a judgment call.
The recent resignation of David Brower from the board of the Sierra Club was
unarguably newsworthy. The San Francisco-based organization has 600,000
members and ranks among the most influential environmental advocacy
groups.

Brower joined the club in 1933, was its first executive director in the 1950s
and 1960s, and is ranked after John Muir and Teddy Roosevelt as a signal
environmentalist.

Yet on May 18 he resigned from the board “with no regret and a bit of
desperation.”

Fittingly, Brower’s act received its fullest coverage in the San Francisco
Chronicle. A surprisingly large number of papers, including the Atlanta
Constitution, chose not to run it at all. Others edited out what prompted
Brower’s act.

Brower asserted that “the planet is being trashed, but the board has no real
sense of urgency.” He protested the board’s support of federal government
proposals that he felt would contravene the club’s original mandate to protect
the California Sierras. He further chastised the club’s leadership for not taking
a strong stance on U.S. population growth and immigration.

“Overpopulation is perhaps the biggest problem facing us, and immigration is
part of the problem. It has to be addressed,” he said.

Even retaining this admonition left the casual reader ill-informed about the
severity of the country’s overpopulation problem. Shortly after the first Earth
Day in 1970, the President’s Commission on Population Growth and America’s
Future urged Congress to act with alacrity to stabilize the population of 200
million. Ecologists such as Paul and Anne Ehrlich of Stanford University peg 150
million as the maximum level consonant with long-term habitat preservation.

Congress rejected demographic accountability. Instead, it adopted policies that
have added 75 million people in a scant three decades.

This January, the Census Bureau updated its historically conservative
projections of future growth. Finally falling in line with academic
demographers, the Bureau conceded that with unchanged immigration policies
we are likely to add 300 million persons by the year 2100! If immigration
policies - including our family reunification, refugee asylum, and H-1B visa
programs - are liberalized, we could approach one billion.

At that level we will menace both our survival and the world’s with our
rapacious appetite for resources, renewable and nonrenewable. At our current
level we are the world’s largest consumer and polluter.

Not just Brower, but Earth Day co-founder and former Wisconsin Senator
Gaylord Nelson, Harvard professor and sociobiologist E.O. Wilson, and Dave
Foreman, chairman of the Wildlands Project and co-founder of Earth First, all
urge scrutiny of the demographic and environmental effects of current
immigration policies. Post-1970 immigration - both entrants and their
descendants - is the sole force fueling 21st century American population
growth.

Identifying causality is not assigning moral “blame.” However, political pressure
groups have sought to intimidate those correctly linking environmental
degradation, population growth, and immigration by hurling such spiteful
epithets as “racists” or “nativists.” They would have us believe that trying to
deflect this country from a path leading to a scenario resembling present-day
China has become an unpatriotic act.

Full article:
http://www.commondreams.org/views/061500-104.htm
.

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By colin2626262, October 19, 2009 at 5:21 pm Link to this comment

Hey, if you don’t like America, or industrial civilization, you can always go live in a cave somewhere.  Have fun with the amenities.  There’s a rock over there for your bed.  Oh, and there’s the hole.  That’s what we used to call the toilet.  No more flushing.  Also, instead of going to the grocery store, here’s your spear.  See if you can get that rabbit sitting over there by the bush.  Those little buggers are fast, though.  You might want to try eating weeds.  They’re pretty filling, if you find some grubs to go with ‘em.  Yeah, I’m with you.  Industrial civilization is for the birds.  Just ask the Unabomber.  He wrote a manifesto.  Reminds me a lot of Chris Hedges, actually.  They were also both into “militant resistance.”  Careful now, Chris.  Don’t be mailing anything suspicious to the headquaters of Exxon-Mobil.  We’ve got to keep our heads.  All we have is our sanity, after all.

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By Xntrk, October 19, 2009 at 5:06 pm Link to this comment

Glad to hear you have experience with storms and the marine environment, stcfarms. As I said, I wish you well, but also am aware of some of the problems.

And yes, I am on a volcanic island - the Big Island of Hawaii, with a couple of the highest mountains around. That said, we have plenty of problems…

We are already seeing flooded ocean front whenever there is a high tide coupled with a strong wind. I think Hilo is going to be faced with relocating some of the primary roads in the not too distant future. The main highway circling the island is flooded, and closed, several times every year. Then there are the slides caused by heavy rains. I don’t know if they are worse than they were 40 years ago, but I do know that the designers ignored many potential problems when they built.

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By elisalouisa, October 19, 2009 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment

Litl Bludot, October 19 at 5:29 am You are absolutely right. As you said, Mr.
Hedges should address what happens to those good souls who peacefully, (much
less militantly, as he suggests) protest against the continuing destruction of the
planet as well as other injustices.  How those who voice dissent in protest are
treated or even the perception of who they are is greatly distorted by the media who do not wish to make heros out of them; the power structure would definitely not approve. Mr. Hedges does not strike me as one who would protest other than with his power of the pen, which should not be taken lightly.

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By canyon critter, October 19, 2009 at 4:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

you people are as crazy as you think some of the right wingers are. look up weather stats at mc murdo station in antartica the weather has been getting colder. the warmest antartica has ever been was in the early 1970’s. here in montana it’s definitely getting colder my cherry trees are ripening almost a month later than they used to and the apples are real late too. our augusts have been very wet the last few yrs. i built my first fire in my fire place in august. we just recorded record cold. although i do believe people live foolishly and beyond there means, the hollywood crowd and people like al gore will never give up there life styles. gore is a phony he is in it for the money. i have been living for years on very little. most people in america couldnt live like i do.

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By stcfarms, October 19, 2009 at 4:03 pm Link to this comment

You misunderstand, the trash will not just be floating loose on the sea it will
be encapsulated in resin. I have passed through these ‘islands’ that you
mention four times and you are right about the marine life. One of the things
that I plan to do with my islands is to create a Sargasso Sea type environment
within the center of the islands. Unless you are on a high volcanic island you
should move because unless we reverse climate change soon you will be under
water.

There will be no run off from the islands, no herbicides or pesticides are
needed on the deep ocean as there are no weeds or bugs. The islands will be
free floating and not anchored to the seabed. We will not be ‘farming’ aquatic
life and there will be no contact between the vegetable farms and the ocean.

Marine scientists are welcome to join the effort along with anyone else but I
cannot make them join. I have studied ecology for 45 years and the islands
will not dump waste into the oceans.

I was on a US Navy destroyer from 1965-1977 and went through the center of
11 hurricanes where we dropped salinity, pressure and other devices to study
storms. There are no flying 2X4’s or other land based crap so a storm is less
damaging on water than it is on land. We are in full agreement about
landlubbers on the ocean.

By Xntrk, October 19 at 6:14 pm #

Expert Mariners die in those storms, to say nothing of novice land-lubbers in
the wrong place at the wrong time. That may be where the ancient myths
about falling off the edge of the world began.

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By Jean Gerard, October 19, 2009 at 3:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In addition to what I wrote earlier (and where is it, by the way?) I just listened to Amy Goodman present an under-40 Muslim man, President of the Maldives, a group of islands already threatened by global warming,  He and other Maldives politicians just made news by donning scuba equipment and meeting underwater to make their point.  He is hopeful, articulate and well educated—also innovative and encouraging.  He spoke of the urgency of their situation without scare tactics, saying they are forming an Alliance of Small Islands to gain more attention to their mutual problem (rising water levels).  Of course they are completely at the mercy of what the big over-developed technological nations do or don’t do about global warming, but there is no sense of hysteria.  He anticipates scientific developments that could help them and still be earth-friendly. To express his way of governing, in conclusion, he said something both whimsical and profoundly significant:  “Leaders.” he said, “have their thinking done for them by their people.” How refreshing!

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By Xntrk, October 19, 2009 at 3:14 pm Link to this comment

stcfarms and other innovators should do a lot more research before launching their rafts into the oceans which are already under severe threat from human activities. I live on an Island in the middle of the Central Pacific. I believe that right now there are at least 8 ‘islands’ or gigantic masses of rubbish floating in the Pacific - and they turn the surrounding waters into a desert.

They block the sunlight from the ocean, creating a loss of plankton, and algae. OTOH, if you are farming, the run-off from your growing mat’l could create the reverse problem - too much algae, robbing the water of oxygen. Anchoring your artificial territories to the sea bed could damage existing plants and sea life too. The multitude of aqua-farms have created many more problems then they solve.

I am not saying it cannot work. But, I am saying that among the people you need to join your endeavors are some Marine Scientists, who have studied and understand the maritime environment. Kind of like the Americas in 1492, it is not some uninhabited empty space where anything goes. Rather, it is the largest producer of oxygen on the planet, and is suffering possibly more than the land masses from Global Warming.

You also need to give heed to the increasingly severe storms we are experiencing. My late husband was a Marine Engineer, and he always was piqued at the weather forecasts that casually mention that Hurricane Joe Blow passed safely out to sea. That is where his ship was sailing, and no hurricane is fun to get caught in.

Expert Mariners die in those storms, to say nothing of novice land-lubbers in the wrong place at the wrong time. That may be where the ancient myths about falling off the edge of the world began.

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By Dave Schwab, October 19, 2009 at 2:47 pm Link to this comment

Want real change? Register Green, vote Green, get active with the Green Party. Stop cooperating with the corporatist political parties.

http://gp.org/

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By MeHere, October 19, 2009 at 2:30 pm Link to this comment

C. Hedges describes the state of the environment very well. For quite a while, many environmentalists have been saying that the measures we have taken so far to preserve sustainability on earth are not making a dent.

The situation we have is that government leaders and industrial corporations subsidize each other, so we can’t expect anything too serious to come out from them —together they hold the power. The obstacle is the citizens themselves who, with their votes and indiscriminate and excessive consumption, are subsidizing both of them.  People will accept and adjust to big, often inconvenient and dislocating changes in their lives only when it is dictated by that business and political partnership. The question is how can we get this trend to work in reverse?

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By Jean Gerard, October 19, 2009 at 2:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One thing that concerns me is thc coalescing of doomsday scenarios, religious, scientific and social. The “overwhelming-ness” tends to set up a counter-productive frame of mind in many people I know.  (“It’s all too much, too big, too complicated.  There’s nothing I can etc.etc.) Fear tends to petrify people’s will. They lose hope and panick.   
  Media are all milking these situations for thrills and chills rather than helping to solve anything. Media need to be “talked to” on this by commentataors and others. It’s important to insist that media explain not only what is happening and the dangers, but also what actions can and should be taken, and what others are already doing, to help people get involved with solving problems. Decrease the hype and increase the information. 
And another avenue: It’s important to get to the Fundamentalists who “believe” that the end of the world is DESIRABLE because “it’s God’s will,” and therefore one should do nothing.
It’s important that kids and young people be taught facts, not opinions in public schools so they will be able to understand the world reasonably and be creative thinkers and courageous doers. 
  These are just a few important vacuums in the present situation. Sure the religious vs. science thing is tough (been going on way too long!) but . . . vital.

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By stcfarms, October 19, 2009 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment

There is no reason that we have to use their fiat money, the base of their
power. If you are not already in the under ground economy it is easy to learn
how. My friends and I trade for most of what we need and we live well. Barter
is legal and it is not taxed, labor, materials and knowledge are all traded with
no taxes involved. Barter takes income away from the empire that could have
been used for their wars on others or us.

By prole, October 19 at 3:52 pm #

Monkeywrenching the system is a capital idea. Let us begin.

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By prole, October 19, 2009 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment

“Those who run our corporate state have fought environmental regulation as tenaciously as they have fought financial regulation. They are responsible for our personal impoverishment as well as the impoverishment of our ecosystem”…they are, in effect, waging war on the planet and the underclass and dispossessed at home and around the world. And if they are making war, the rules of war apply. We should encourage those that can target them or anyone that serves them in any capacity. Monkeywrenching the system is a capital idea. Let us begin.

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By stcfarms, October 19, 2009 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment

Some of the ‘older generation’ get it, we have been fighting our peers since
Silent Spring was written. Unfortunately we could not make our peers listen
and the younger generation will bear the brunt of climate change.

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By Outraged, October 19, 2009 at 12:01 pm Link to this comment

Article: “The damage to the environment by human households is minuscule next to the damage done by corporations. Municipalities and individuals use 10 percent of the nation’s water while the other 90 percent is consumed by agriculture and industry.

Most people are unaware of these numbers and therefore as members of society we feel that we are doing our part by using less water… etc.  While this is not a bad thing, it certainly doesn’t address the larger, more pressing issue in ANY meaningful way.  The situation is serious, but too many truly do not understand the breadth of the situation and wherein the problem lies.  They have been purposefully misdirected and outright lied to regarding climate change.  They are starting to figure it out though, the Washington Post:

“An unlikely lobbying group is pressing the U.S. Senate to curb greenhouse gas emissions: American hunting and fishing groups who fear climate change will disrupt their sport….

....A 2008 NWF poll of over 1,000 hunters and fishers found that over half classified themselves as “politically conservative.” The respondents were mostly white, male and middle-aged—classic Republican demographic.

Even so, 85 percent agreed with the statement: “We can improve the environment and strengthen the economy by investing in renewable energy technologies that create jobs while reducing global warming.”

Lindsey Graham, a conservative Republican senator from South Carolina, broke ranks with his party and outlined a compromise to limit carbon emissions in a New York Times opinion piece he co-wrote with Democratic Senator John Kerry.”
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/18/AR2009101800966.html

From nola:
”“This is new. It started getting this bad maybe five, six years ago, but it just gets worse every year. Don’t tell me we don’t have a problem. I have to wade through it.”

If sea-level rise reaches projections made by the International Panel on Climate Change last year, we will see the Gulf climb 3 to 6 feet higher across southeast Louisiana, a rate three times higher than other sections of the country, because of our subsidence problem. As that process takes place, our coastal fisheries will collapse because the estuaries will be flooded. Migratory waterfowl will stop visiting in the winter, because they can’t find food in open, salty water.

Coastal communities outside the levees will be cut off from roads. Pipelines and refineries will have to be relocated. Communities like metro New Orleans will be forced inside floodwalls soaring to 30 feet and higher.

The tragedy is being caused by the record build-up of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere the past 100 years. And the major source of that gas is the carbon dioxide from power plants, industrial facilities and cars.”
http://www.nola.com/outdoors/index.ssf/2009/10/southeast_louisiana_is_sinking.html

Reuters:
“Alec Loorz, Founder, Kids vs Global Warming and Youth Leader, Alliance for Climate Education:  “People tell me all the time, ‘It’s great to have you kids involved.  You are the future.’  We are the future.  But we are more than that.  We’re here now.  We are the present, and our voices and actions really do make a difference.  We are committed to a revolution that will redefine our country once again ... to become leaders in creating a new, clean economy, a new way of life that does not harm future generations.”
http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS185021+23-Sep-2009+PRN20090923

Mr. Loorz makes a very good point, we don’t get it.  They are not only the metaphorical future, they are the present.  The oft stated view; “isn’t it great they’re(the young) involved” while no ill-intent was meant I’m sure, typlifies how far removed we are (the older set) from this reality.

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By stcfarms, October 19, 2009 at 11:48 am Link to this comment

Oops, should have been west of 700 rd.

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By stcfarms, October 19, 2009 at 11:42 am Link to this comment

We can teach each other, I am good with machines but even though I grew up
on a dairy farm my knowledge of growing vegetables is limited. My girlfriend
plays the guitar so you should fit right in.

My email is .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) I live at 6710 n. 1400 av. (1/3 of a mile
east of the corner of 700 rd. and 1400 av.)

By de profundis clamavi, October 19 at 2:01 pm #

I’m not talented with machines or gadgets but I’m very good at growing
things, and using them to prepare tasty meals. And I’m good at music. You’ll
want some entertainment down on the farm.

How we keep in touch? If I just turned up in Osco one day next June or July,
would I be able to find you?

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By Howie Bledsoe, October 19, 2009 at 11:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here is the probable scenario. When the huddled masses are running thru the street up to their knees in water,
with the majority of them just beginning to accept the notion of global warming, the corporate fat cats will be passing out rubber duckies to the populace, free of charge. The US will be called the United state of Colorado and Wyoming. People will swim around looking for drinking water, while the corporate class will begin work on how to market dirty water to desert nations. Just a guess.

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By de profundis clamavi, October 19, 2009 at 11:01 am Link to this comment

By stcfarms, October 19 at 1:36 pm #


Great, Osco is 19 miles ESE of Rock Island Illinois and you can start when you
get here. We are 720’ above sea level at Lat/Lon: 41.4° N 90.3° W.

* * * * *

The geographical statistics are promising, and I love your attitude.

I am finishing up a degree and I am planning to sell my house in the spring. I am a former lawyer in my early 50s and looking to spend the rest of my life in a constructive way, unlike the first part.

I’m not talented with machines or gadgets but I’m very good at growing things, and using them to prepare tasty meals. And I’m good at music. You’ll want some entertainment down on the farm.

How we keep in touch? If I just turned up in Osco one day next June or July, would I be able to find you?

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